A resourceful Luxembourg resident has built a three-storey house using an estimated 16 tons of incomprehensible political material that has arrived in her mailbox since the end of summer.
“Pamphlet after pamphlet with names and photos of people I don’t recognize, all of them dressed up,” said Renata Apostu, 29, who has lived and worked in the Grand Duchy since 2016. “At first I thought they were adverts for suit stores, and that there was some kind of retail war going on.”
“Every morning the postman would leave me with a whole stack of stuff I would never read, since everything was printed in languages I don’t understand,” she continued. “And I’m not allowed to vote anyway, so I have no idea why these political parties were showing so much interest in me.”
Apostu accumulated so much material that by the end of September it filled up every room in her small apartment. Unwilling to spend money on a rental truck to transport the stacks to the recycling center, Apostu came up with an idea: she would use the material to build her own house.
“Honestly, I didn’t do this to make a statement or to protect the environment,” she said. “I just couldn’t think of anything else to do with it.”
“Look at this pamphlet, for example, what does it say?” she continued, pointing to a flyer that is now part of an exterior wall. “Okay, so there’s a guy in a suit, and he’s walking along an empty street, talking to himself. Is he on drugs? I don’t what he’s saying. I don’t understand French, oh wait, this one looks like it’s in German.”
“Or is that Luxembourgish?” she added. “I can’t even tell.”
Apostu says that before she began construction, she went around to all the neighbours to see if she could also have their material, as they are mostly non-citizens.
“Most of them didn’t know what all that stuff was for, and one woman actually thought they were adverts for professional psychics that cater to people who work in the fund industry,” she said. “She had been trying to call them for weeks to make an appointment, but with no luck.”
After five days of intensive stacking, Apostu finished her new home, temporarily located in a vacant field.
“I used to worry that I could never afford a house in Luxembourg because I only make about 100,000 euros per year,” she said. “But thanks to all the political parties who sent me tons of free construction material, I’m now a happy homeowner.”
Apostu admits she is disappointed about one thing: that she didn’t have enough stacks of paper to add a guest room or a garage. Still, she remains hopeful.
“I just need to be patient,” she said. “The next elections are in five years, so I’ll be able to finish all my additions and renovations then.”
Photo credit: J.P. Gomez
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